Blogs

Conference Blog Underway

With the GIA 2014 Conference well underway in Houston, you can follow the thoughts and observations of the three conference bloggers at blogs.giarts.org/gia2014/. Barry Hessenius has posted his day one experience:

Note: There is no way I can possibly cover all the material I absorbed in today’s sessions and do justice to it all tonight. So, I am going to hit a couple of highlights and then come back later in the week and cover the rest, together with some personal comments and insights. And that is likely to be my approach tomorrow as well. I also plan on a separate post on the GIA Preconference on the Unique Practice of Arts Grantmaking this weekend.
Judi Jennings Receives Milner Award

The Governor of Kentucky has announced that Judi Jennings, former executive director of the Kentucky Foundation for Women and a GIA Board Member, has been given the Milner Award. The Milner Award is presented for outstanding philanthropic, artistic or other contributions to the arts. The Milner Award is the most prestigious of the Governor’s Awards in the Arts, and was established in 1977 in honor of B. Hudson Milner, a Louisville utility executive and civic leader, whose contributions to the arts in Kentucky remain important to this day.

Chicago's 3Arts Increases Award Amounts for their Artists

Three Cheers! 3Arts has announced an increase in the amount of the organization's awards for Chicago’s women artists, artists of color, and artists with disabilities in the performing, teaching, and visual arts. 

We hear NO so much in this profession—no, no, no, no, no. There is no denying this yes. I have been resourced, financially and artistically, in such an amazingly generous way. There is no greater gift than that. - Kelli Simpkins, 2013 3Arts awardee

Study Finds Shifts in Charitable Giving After Recession

From Jess Bidgood, writing for The New York Times:

Between 2006 and 2012, the wealthiest Americans became less generous with charitable donations, as a share of their total income, while lower- and middle-income Americans reached farther into their pockets as they witnessed the need for charity in their communities, a study says.
Tax Court Ruling Is Seen as a Victory for Artists

From Randy Kennedy at The New York Times:

If you say you are an artist, but you make little money from selling your art, can your work be considered a profession in the eyes of the Internal Revenue Service? In a ruling handed down late last week by the United States Tax Court and seen by many as an important victory for artists, the answer is yes.
Gregory Rowe, 1951-2014

Gregory T. Rowe of Berwyn, Pa., passed away at home on Friday, Oct. 3, 2014, after a 14-month battle with cancer. He was born on Sept. 17, 1951 in New Bern, N.C. Greg was the director of culture initiatives and deputy director of the Philadelphia program at The Pew Charitable Trusts from 2009 to 2012. He began work at Pew in 1997 as a program officer in culture. His vision and the strategies that were implemented under his leadership continue to be contributing factors to Philadelphia’s cultural revitalization. He also oversaw special culture projects such as the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance’s program Engage 2020, and played a key role in supporting initiatives that reinvigorated the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance as the region’s primary advocate for arts and culture. Greg was involved in developing the Cultural Data Project from its inception in 2001 through 2011. The CDP is now used by thousands of cultural organizations and more than 100 funders throughout the country.

Mellon Foundation Announces Strategic Vision

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation’s Board of Trustees has approved a strategic plan intended to guide the foundation’s philanthropic work in the coming years. The foundation is merging the separate programs focused on liberal arts colleges and research universities into a single program for Higher Education and Scholarship in the Humanities. Also, the programs for the performing arts and for art history, conservation and museums will be consolidated into a single program for Arts and Cultural Heritage.

Wallace Foundation Announces $40 Million Effort to Help Arts Organizations Thrive

The Wallace Foundation has announced a six-year, $40-million arts initiative, Building Audiences for Sustainability, designed to help about 25 outstanding performing arts organizations across the United States create programs that attract new audiences while retaining existing ones. This initiative aims to provide meaningful support to arts organizations whose artistic vision and mission involve building audiences. The foundation also seeks to understand and share evidence and experiences from these organizations on whether and how they can achieve and sustain audience gains, and whether these gains improve their overall financial health.

Member Spotlight on Houston Endowment

During the month of October, GIA's photo banner features artists and projects supported by Houston Endowment. Houston Endowment is the Anchor Sponsor for the annual GIA conference happening this month.

Houston Endowment supports nonprofit organizations and educational institutions that produce and maximize enduring benefits for the people of the greater Houston area. Jesse H. Jones and Mary Gibbs Jones established Houston Endowment as a private philanthropic foundation in 1937; since that time, Houston Endowment has donated almost $1.7 billion ($3 billion in constant dollars) to help arts and culture, education, environment, health and human services organizations realize the Joneses’ vision of creating a community where the opportunity to thrive is available to all.

Racial Equity: The History and Purpose of our Work

By Janet Brown from her blog Better Together

My first year at Grantmakers in the Arts (GIA) was 2009. When I travelled the country to meet members and learn about their work, I was surprised by my conversations with most private funders.